You could say that Clarence Miller Insurance is in my blood. I was born Emily Miller to Clarence and Linda Miller, the founders of Clarence Miller Insurance, and I was practically raised in this agency. I grew up hearing names like “Grinnell Mutual” and “Rockford Mutual” discussed over our dinner table, wearing the logos of our favorite insurance companies on our hats and coats, and making treasured memories on family “vacations” to company conferences. I still remember my sister and I playing on the old typewriter in the back office on “E” street, peeking through the window between my parents’ offices and spying on my dad while he worked. Clarence Miller Insurance has been such a big part of my life that any reflection on my childhood is inherently filled with countless memories that revolve around it. Joining the agency officially now as an adult feels like taking my rightful place in the family business I’ve peripherally been a part of my entire life.
Other formative memories from my childhood include tromping around Wayne’s World during recess at Lerna Elementary School, horseback riding and trout fishing at “Connie’s Cabin” in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and serving as drum major for three years in the Charleston High School band. I received my bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Eastern Illinois University, with minors in French and Latin American studies. While there, I spent a summer studying abroad at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, a magical place filled with long hours of summer sunshine and countless Villamayor stone facades covered in stunning stonemasonry and carvings.
Paul Tomshack and I started dating in high school and were eventually married just before I graduated college; he was still in training to be a nuclear mechanic on a submarine at the time. We then spent four years in Bremerton, Washington in the Navy, an experience that we both appreciated for the solid foundation it gave us but were also incredibly grateful to put behind us. In 2012, we made the decision to move back to Charleston and take over the family business. Our daughter, Emma, was born the year before and we couldn’t imagine being anywhere but with family after she came along. Our son, Lucas, was born two years later, and both our kids are completely obsessed with “going to Nana and Papa’s house” and “spending the overnight.” Paul and I are so happy to live so close to both our families, and we cherish all the memories we get to make with them.
In addition to working here at the agency, I also own an online Etsy shop called Emily Jeanne Designs where I sell apparel and accessories that I’ve handmade in my home studio. I feel so lucky to get to be a part of two different small businesses! Before joining the agency, I also worked at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library; I love to read about as much as I love to breathe, so it was a good fit while it lasted. When my mom mentioned that she was ready to think about retiring, however, it suddenly became apparent that it was my time to step in and fill her shoes. I feel like my life has now come full circle; I’m ready to take my place in the family business that has so thoroughly shaped my life up to this point and do my part to build and shape its future in return.